Rheumatoid arthritis is often referred to as an auto-immune disorder, in which the body’s immune system attacks itself, in this case attacking the synovial membranes that secrete lubricating fluids in the joint capsule. The result is that cartilage and tissues in and around the joint are destroyed.
The normal space between the joint becomes narrowed and the bones can fuse together. Severe stiffness and swelling result.
It is known to have both genetic and environmental influences that predispose patients to the condition. It is widely thought to have an infectious origin but as yet no one
agent has been identified.
The onset of the disease can be slow and insidious with gradual joint pain, stiffness and swelling in the peripheral joints. Often it is the proximal joints that swell but not the distal of the fingers and toes. However eventually the larger joints are also affected.
It can be very unpleasant and debilitating and is not the easiest of ailments to treat. However I have seen improvement in many patients using the following type of regime.
– Firstly, an effort needs to be made to improve the immune status of the body as a whole.
Many arthritic complaints are in actual fact the body’s reaction to a viral infection or reactivation. Viruses will stay in the body for many years if not for life. They will become active again at any time that the body becomes compromised through stress, illness or
Malnutrition can simply mean that that the body has insufficient minerals to allow it to work optimally. Taking Colloidal minerals daily will prevent this. To help any ailment
heal you need to make sure that minerals are at the highest possible level, take at least 1tbsp daily. Stress and pain will always cause levels to drop, so the intake has to be kept high and constant.
See page on ‘Minerals- Facts’ and ‘ Minerals- Why we need to Supplement’
Barley grass or Spirulina are also very good supplements and can be taken as well as Colloidal minerals if dietary intake of proteins is inadequate or weight loss is severe.
In some cases where the energy is very low and does not improve with basic
mineral supplementation it can be necessary to add a little extra Iodine. Often in this case energy is especially low in the later afternoon.
See page on ‘Hypothyroid’.
There is also much evidence to show the correlation between intestinal malfunction and arthritis. Many of the theories as to the pathogenisis of arthritis include specific bacterial infections and/or an altered intestinal bacterial flora.
Improving the diet as well as using products that can greatly improve the immune status of the bowel can make a huge difference to arthritic symptoms.
The use of herbals such as Artemisia can help greatly in this regard.
Often good results are obtained where a specific probiotic is alternated with another product that helps clear out the ‘bad’ bacteria in order for the ‘good’ to repopulate more effectively.
There are also now available very specific Probiotics that will greatly reduce the
incidence of allergic reactions and infection (bacterial or viral).
See page on Probiotics.
Some Colostrum products also can be excellent for improving the immune status of the bowel.
There are also many herbal products that can assist with other aspects of the immune function and some have been found to help even when the body is in an extremely debilitated state. Bacopa is an example of this.
Other herbal products include those that incorporate Olive leaf, Andrographis, Echinacea, Astragalus, Phyllanthus, Reishi or Shitake mushroom or Propolis extracts. Many of these can be used in an on-going manner, others are better used as a course every few months.
It may be a good idea to Contact me if you are unsure what is best for you.
Anti-oxidants are useful in this respect too, and in addition wil help greatly in reducing inflammation.
– Secondly it is important to take food enzymes with each meal. These must be very high in protease in order to make sure that all proteins are fully digested. Partially digested proteins are known in some people to activate an immune response and may be responsible for precipitating arthritis promoting reactions.
Also once foods are again being fully digested, weight, if too low, usually starts to increase.
Also, as enzyme levels increase many so-called ‘allergies’ to foods that people find are aggravating their arthritis tend to disappear.
See page on ‘Enzymes – facts’.
However you always need to make sure that the diet is completely free of all added sugars and refined foods (which significantly promote inflammation and oxidative stress).
In some cases there will be true allergies to such things as tomatoes and their associated family of foods (potatoes, eggplant etc) and to additives such as Sulphites in foods.
Check all food labels.
See page on Sulphite allergy.
– Thirdly supplement with Vitamin B6 100mg daily and also with Vitamin
B12. B6 you will find reduces the tendency to aching muscles while B12
will greatly increase energy and reduce the deep ‘gnawing’ type of pain. If you
are taking Methyltrexate you will also need to supplement with Folic acid as
this drug is known to cause deficiencies.
These are all very basic recommendations that are needed to regain the body’s strength. However you need to do more than this often to get the pain factor under control.
Herbal treatments can work very well in situations of on going and severe inflammation.
I have found products containing Olive Leaf can reduce pain quite dramatically. it has the added advantage that it also improves the immune system.
Additionally Evening Primrose Oil used at a rate of 3000mg two to three times daily greatly helps ease inflammation and can be used as needed.
As well as these the use of Green Lipped Mussel works very well in the longer term and is particularly useful in helping to protect the joint capsule from further deterioration. Use
at a rate of 2-3 capsules daily.
Go to On-line shop for ‘Seatone’ or Organic Evening Primrose Oil.
Increasing fish oils in the diet also helps. Fish oils contain Omega- 3 and have been shown to reduce inflammatory symptoms and morning stiffness. They also contain Vitamin D which has been implicated in the aetiology of RA and other auto-immune diseases.
Flaxseed oil also comes into this category and as well as being mildly anti-inflammatory,
helps blood flow around the joints.
Another supplement that I have found works well in many cases is Quercetin, which is very strong anti-oxidant, anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory.
I have also had a lot of success using Magnets on any person with on-going pain. They work best if used close to site of the pain, as in a strap around a painful knee or a back belt to ease pain in the spine. Used around the lumbar area also greatly improves the strength in the legs.